Most people don’t deicide to become a foster parent in the spur of a moment.
It’s a big decision - life changing even (for you and a foster child). It’s something you should take time to think about and discuss with your family and friends and approach thoughtfully - and that’s okay! We want you to be comfortable with your choice to open your heart and your home to a child in need.
What is foster care?
When families are unable to provide acceptable care to their children, or if there is abuse, neglect or risk of harm present in the home, a child can be taken into state custody and placed in foster care. In foster care the child will be placed in an alternative living situation, such as a foster home. Foster care is meant to be temporary, lasting only as long as it takes for the family to make changes so that the child can return to a safe and stable home. If the decision is made that a child cannot return home, he or she will remain in foster care until placed in the care of a relative, adopted or emancipated.
What is “therapeutic” foster care?
Therapeutic foster care comes into play for children who have experienced extreme trauma, abuse or neglect, and require specialized services. These children often have emotional and/or behavioral problems or may have developmental delays or some type of medical condition that requires special care. Many, but not all, children referred to SCYAP are in need of therapeutic foster care. This may sound scary and a bit overwhelming, but rest assured that SCYAP’s experienced staff will be there to ensure you are prepared and able to provide the care and support to a child with complex issues.
What about the child’s family?
Foster care is meant to be temporary, and in most cases the goal is for the child to return to his or her family. Foster parents can encourage the child’s connection with his or her family by assisting with visitation, setting up telephone calls, facilitating letter writing or card sending, passing along pictures of the child to the family, etc. We will ensure that involvement with the child’s family is done in a manner that is safe and as comfortable as possible for everyone.
Can I adopt a foster child?
Foster parents are critical in helping a child in foster care to heal from the trauma they have experienced. They provide a caring, safe, loving and stable family environment for a child or group of siblings. There are times when foster parents adopt the foster child placed in their home, but being a foster parent does not guarantee adoption. The ability to adopt a foster child depends on that child’s permanency plan, which is ultimately decided on by the Family Court.
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